Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Instagram Insanity!

We have procrastinated long enough...We thought it might go away, but it's not...

We have a confession, and please pardon us because in about 6 words or so our ages will be showing...

We don't get the hash tag thing at all.
It doesn't make sense. 

Last we checked, this so called, "hash tag" thingy was a lazy man's way of writing a number sign or the timeless tic tac toe board. 

When did they come up with "hash tag"?
And, who is sitting back laughing that we all just agreed to this hash tag insanity?

We know we're not alone...We have had many conversations over multiple glasses of wine lemonade with parents our age.
They confess...
They don't get it either. 
We're stumped.

It's our "generation", we think. 
We didn't do this stuff when we were kids... 
We played outside. 
Until dark. 
With no adult supervision. 
Plus, we rode in cars. 
Without seatbelts. 
Backwards...

But now, we have "hash tags"...And, our own kids know way more than us #coolparents #stupidparents...Now this is dangerous! We have got to get with the program, and we think this will help.
  
So, even though we have no idea what they are or what they do, we'll be hash tagging (Is that mean?) on Instagram with some of our favorite teachers each Tuesday....And, you can join us too! 
 Consider yourself getting in on the "ground floor" with us
{#tictactoesign}Instagramrookies. 
 One thing we do love about Instagram is how they can take a picture and turn it into a piece of art. The filters are fun to play with, when the hash tags are too scary not.
  This filter cleaned our garage sale find right up! 
You should've seen it before we edited...
We just wish these filters existed in real life
It would save us a ton of time on house work!

So, we'll see you on Instagram!
Be sure to follow Fluttering1st
and Instagram a photo from your school day each Tuesday.
Oh~ 
And then, play tic tac toe by hash tagging it with a lazy man's number sign...
#teachertalktuesday

Be sure to head back to 

or
to join the Instagram insanity!



Saturday, April 27, 2013

5 for Friday...Finally!

We adore this Linky, and we adore our friend Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching! What we don't adore is the fact that we haven't had even 5 minutes to link up in the past few weeks. Plus, we had this post ready to go yesterday, but it was Fried Day, so here it is on Saturday.


Anyone else on the sink or swim plan these days? 
We're doggy-paddling at the moment...But, we're still afloat!

Here's our 5...Finally!  
 Is there a cure for Spring Fever? 
IV? 
Prescription? 
Chewable?
Anything?!?  
With the warmer weather comes wild behavior. 
Namely in the form of chit chatting constantly
We feel like a broken record...

"Please be quiet."
"Please close your mouths."
"Zip-a-Dee Doh Dah."
"If you can hear my voice touch your head."
"If you can hear my voice touch your knees."
Oh Puh-lease!!
Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...

We've resorted to throwing balls. 
Get your minds out of the gutter...We're teachers!
 We found these crazy, light up balls at Target the other day. Kids love these balls. We don't get it, but we pretend to. Well, they do light up and you can squish them practically until they look like they're going to burst...Oh! And, they light up... 
Okay, maybe we get it.

This week, we pulled them out and waited until they were super chit chatty. It took 4.3 seconds from the time we stopped talking. Then, we asked {all overly excited}, 
"Who wants a ball?"
"Who wants a ball?" 
Of course they wanted one. 
Of course...
So we complied
Those that caught them thought they were the King of the Hill, Queen of the Castle, Top Dogs. 

Chests puffed out, we said, "Great! You'll all be our first group of sharers!" 

Jaws dropped a little, but we made it fun grabbing the empty basket and allowing them to try and make a basket as they shared. They ate it up! Plus, they were pretty quiet for over 4 minutes and that was worth having balls pelted at us. Plus, they light up.   
 Not sure what we did to deserve this, but for a whole 6 hours straight, 2 days in a row we found ourselves teaching over the noise of running cement mixers right across the street from our classroom. 

We now know there are two things that do not mix...Boys and Learning when there are cement mixers MIXING CEMENT across the street. Sorry...We're not yelling at you, but we need to talk loudly or you won't hear us over the mixer
So, what you can see is our classroom door open and the mixer mixing. What you may not be able to see are the two boys whose teachers finally told them to "pull up a chair and enjoy the show". We'd lost them hours ago anyways...They looked at us like we were absolutely crazy the best teachers in the world. 
 
Technology Vs. Woman...
 It hasn't won yet...But, we're doggy-paddling.
We've hit a few bumps and it has completely torn up changed the front of our classroom in the middle of the Spring Fever Epidemic and Cement Mixer Madness, but it's all good. We're getting a few finishing touches to fix up that ugly black brick, but the kids are loving our new technology.
 It's a wonderful carrot tool to dangle learn with.
 Birthday Treats ~ As if we can take anymore distractions, we also celebrated our birthdays in class. They fall 3 days apart. No, we didn't make that up. They have fallen 3 days apart since the days we were born. Really. 
So, our amazing room parents and class helped us celebrate Tammy's birthday on a Friday and Christy's on a Monday.  
If you're good at math, that's 
1 teacher party + 1 teacher party = 1 super excited class. 
 But, honestly soooo sweet. We got lunch and flowers and dessert. 
It was so nice.

Our Habitat Sale ends today! Enjoy 20% off ~
If you haven't heard about the Mystery Box, well perhaps you've been locked in a box?
It's our new MONTHLY giveaway filled with suspense and mystery...which basically translates to 
Super Great Stuff! 

Be sure to enter for your chance to win. US Residents Only. 
Click the Pic Below for Details...
  Good Luck! 



Thursday, April 25, 2013

Habitats of the World

 Our first thought was, can we PLEASE get a little more green on that little loading bar up there? 
Puh-lease load faster!!
Please?
So, while we're waiting impatiently, we'll just take our summer vacation "in our minds" for now...
Habitats of the World
Adorable Earth Graphic by the adorable Krista Wallden

We've been continuing our travels around the world. This week we are zip-lining through our newest Habitat Unit, 
The Rainforest Habitat.
 Our class is loving our habitat learning and truth be told, so are we!
  
Like our other habitat units, Rainforest includes:
*16 Rainforest Vocabulary Cards
*Blank Bingo Card Master
*5 Pre-made Bingo Cards
*Rainforest Vocabulary Definitions
*Rainforest Mini (8 page) Book
*Fact Finders Page
*Rainforest Definition Worksheet
*Vocabulary Sentence Worksheet
*Sentences Activity
*Scramble Worksheet
*Writing Brainstorm Page
*Writing Final Draft Page
*Monkey Art Project
*List of Common Core Standards for this unit
What we love the most is that though we've changed the habitat on them, the activities of all of our habitat units are similar so the kids already know the directions...which we teachers know is half the battle, especially when Summer is loading...slowly...
Click any of the pics below to take an early Summer Vacation...
Okay, not really, but we would if we could! 

In celebration of Earth Week, and all things pointing to summer vacation, we've put all 5 of our habitat units on sale until this Saturday!
Stock up and save before you hit the beach, or snow, or wherever your summer may go!
Sorry, rhyming curse...again.
 AND, just in case you didn't catch the BIG mysterious news in yesterday's post...click the pic to check out our FUN giveaway and enter for your chance to win our very first Mystery Box!
 Good luck!


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Earth Day Hooters

We LOVE hooters. 
Well, our first graders LOVE hooters. 
Apparently...
They told us today. 
Some actually shouted, 
"Oh my goodness! I LOOOOOVE hooters." 

We didn't even care about the shouting out like we normally do, but who yells, "I love hooters!" in first grade? 
Whoooo?

Perhaps, we should explain?
 Today we completed our I Give a Hoot Earth Day Owl Craftivity.
 Oh, no...It gets better...
 You can grab our Earth Day Owl Craftivity and tons of other Earth Week activities in our We Love the Earth resource.
That's better, but still not what we wanted to tell you...
About hooters.

As we were working through our Earth Day brainstorming session, we were feeling oh so eco friendly about our lesson.
We talked about  
Reducing,  
Reusing 
and yes, yes...wait for it...
even Recycling.
The teacher angels were clapping their cans together from Heaven, we know it.  
And, by cans we really mean cans...aluminum recycable cans...not hooters...just in case you were thinking that was the hooter story. 
It's not.
Yet... 

It just sort of happened so fast we are still sitting here recycling the day's events...

You know there's always one Smartypants in the bunch.
One "higher level thinker" to say it in complete teacher code...
You know...Yes, that one...

They ask the questions you pretend to know the answer to smartly reply with a quick and witty,
"Well, that is a wonderful question my friend...What do you think?"
Works.every.single.time.
But, not today.

Smartypants:
"Um, what type of owl is this we're making exactly?"

Teacher Thought:
Um, a super cute construction paper owl with cupcake liner eyes that I dashed out to Target for late last night and somehow accidentally spent $230 on. They were only $1.39. 
I'm not so good at Reducing...

Teacher Response: 
"Um, well that is a wonderful question...What do you think?"

Smarty McSmartypants:
"Well, actually it is a grey horned nocturnal hoot owl."

Teacher Thought:
A grey-horned who owl? Huh?!? 
And, a nocturnal owl?  
Wowzers! 
This kid really knows their stuff.
 And here we thought it was a construction paper owl with cute cupcake liner eyes that I spent $230 on...accidentally.

Teacher Reality: 
"Um, well that is a wonderful observation. 
I think this one may just a hoot owl. I made it up. It's fiction."
WRONG ANSWER!!!

Boy 1 with sonar bat hearing from across the entire classroom:
"Oh, it's a hoot owl?"

Teacher Thought:
Where the heck did Bat Boy come from?


Boy 2 (Must be speaking in sonar with Bat Boy 1 because last time Teacher checked Bat Boy 2 was fiddling with his crayons and had not a care in the world about any hooting of any kind):
"Oh, I LOVE Hooters!"

Teacher Thought:
Oh, hooters...yep, those get their attention...

 Wait! 
Hooters!?!  
Wuh-hut?!?

Boy 3 (Who seriously just walked in from obtaining something from his backpack...Must have x-ray hearing or something):
"Oh, me too! Hooters are the best!"

Teacher Thoughts:
Calgon? Like a Good Agent...State Farm are you there?

Girl 1 (Just joining the Hooter Hoopla, we think):
Hooters is sooo good!

Teacher:
Wait...What?
Hooters?
Hooters?
OH!
Hooters
The restaurant...
Phewf

We were so relieved to learn they recently opened a new one in our town, much to the disgruntled townsfolk, but apparently they have really great wings!
Uh-huh..
Apparently they are also really good at reducing. 
One of the Bat Boys mentioned they wear really "small shirts". 
 Just then, were saved by the bell...
Literally.
We had a fire drill. 
And, at that very moment, though it wasn't the recess bell we were truly yearning for, it was a bell...
An ear deafening, mouth quieting bell that saved our hooters.

If you love Hooters too (or even if you don't), our "I Give a Hoot" Earth Day Craftivity doesn't really care and neither do we. 

We are just clapping our cans together that we don't have to teach human growth and development tomorrow
And, apparently we've found a new place that's great for its "wings"...and Reducing efforts.
 This hooter pretty much sums up our day...Leave it to the teacher first graders to take a lesson from treasure to trash and back again in less time than it takes diapers to decompose in a landfill.

Be sure to check out our  "I Give a Hoot" Earth Day Owl Craftivity in our TpT Shop and see how much your class loves hooters too.
 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

GIVEAWAY Winner & Fluency Building Bookmarks Take 2

And the BIG Bloggy Birthday Winner Is...
 Congratulations Laurie!! 
Check your email shortly for all sorts of goodies!!!

A HUGE thank you to our blogging buddies for helping us out too.
You Ladies are amazing!
 This week, we got cracking on our Earth Day learning. 
It is one of our favorite units to teach.
We are super excited to be trying our sweet friend Katie's Easy {and adorable!} Ecology unit along with our We Love the Earth activities this year. You can read our other Earth Day posts from last year {here} and {here}. We'll post pics over the weekend of all our Earth Day learning.
But, for today... 
Today, we paired some of her Awesome Ecology fluency pages with our Fluency Building Bookmarks and we nearly hugged a tree over it. 
It was awesome!
 We pulled the fluency pages included in Katie's Easy Ecology unit for today's fluency practice. 
We knew there were easier passages in her pack, but we were looking for a challenge. 
We wanted to prove how powerful these little Fluency Building Bookmarks can be.
They proved us right.
We nearly hugged them over it. 

We started by projecting one of the passages up on our BRAND NEW Promethean Board. 
Yes, we're totally squealing. It's a Promethean Board People...
For us!
Now, we're just like Anderson Cooper or Wolf Blitzer on CNN...
We get to look all smart whilst swiping things with our finger. This has never been a smart look for us as typically the things we're swiping with our fingers are not really newsworthy. 
No, quite the opposite... 
Our finger swiping days are usually followed by a quickly tossed tissue and a stern request to please wash their hands...
And, ours.
But, now...
It's a fashion statement!
Seriously, we got manicures and everything just for the full Finger Swiping Experience. 
 Nobody wants to use a Promethean Board with pitiful nails!

Okay, okay squealing ceased...Back to fluency.
We asked our class to cold read the passage.
It was a full choir of robotic cave kids at their finest.
It was definitely the challenge we were looking for. 
 We read through it with them on the board a few times. We practiced key vocabulary and highlighted with our manicure finger. When they were ready, we gave them each their own Easy Ecology fluency page and one of our Fluency Building Bookmarks to Read to 3 different friends. You can read more about them {here}.
When it came to reading time, they roamed around the classroom, finding 3 different friends to read to.
 We told them if they had a difficult time reading alone, then we wanted them to read together with their partner in 1 voice. 
This helps alleviate some stress that our struggling readers may feel, but also lets our higher readers know this is not a show off session or Party of 1. We support each other as growing readers. 
They did wonderfully!
 If they had trouble finding a partner, which typically takes the form of a wandering lost soul meandering aimlessly around the classroom, we gave them a central "picking spot" to return to. They were to return to the class rug and wait for someone to come. This alleviated the wandering and they were able to move on with their next partner very quickly. Nobody stood around for more than a minute or so.
 As they read, we roamed and buffed our nails listened. :)
The first read was bumpy, but they helped each other.
The second read was louder, more readers, faster and much better.
By the third reading, they were sailing through.
After each reading, their partner gave them a compliment about their reading, then signed their name or initials on one of the lines on their Fluency Building Bookmark. 
Our Fluency Building Bookmarks include Read to 3, Read to 5 and Read to 8 sets for each month of the year. 
The kids actually look forward to the "new" sets each month and beg us to Read to 8.
Did you catch that? 
B-E-G to R-E-A-D.
We should feel bad for tricking them.
We should...
But, we don't.

Getting them to reread is just one strategy for building their fluency.
We always make them chant,
"The more we read, the better we read!"
And, guess what?
After today, they believe it.
And, so do we...
  
Katie's pages include comprehension questions at the bottom, so it was the perfect tie in to close out today's fluency practice. Tomorrow, we will re-read and use some of our own Comprehension Cards with the whole class to get them thinking deeper about the selection.

Plus, we'll be using our Fluency Building Bookmarks in math. They'll read a selection from their Student Reference Book to 5 friends. It's a short 2 pager with lots of pictures, so they'll be able to handle reading to more than 3 friends. 
Click the pic below to take a closer look at our Fluency Building Bookmarks & Comprehension Cards.
 So, we're curious...
How do you help your kids build fluency?

Leave a comment below and we'll pick 2 to receive our Fluency Building Bookmarks & Comprehension Cards

Off to do our nails for the second time in 2 days!
We've got Promethean fingers ready to swipe tomorrow and we've got to pick out our nail polish
Squeal!!!!! 
 




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